A music festival in east Reading has been cancelled while plans for a second event later this year are still set to go ahead.

Stories In The Park, a dance music festival aimed at University of Reading students, was granted a licence last night to hold events at Palmer Park twice a year.

The festival got the go-ahead from Reading Borough Council’s (RBC) Licensing committee but must reduce noise levels.

Stories In The Park, which debuted in September 2019, was due to take place at Palmer Park in June and September this year.

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But representatives for the organisers, speaking at the meeting, said the June festival, which Chase and Status were set to headline, has now been cancelled.

The decision comes after Reading Festival announced last night it had cancelled this year’s event, held every at the end of August, due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

The noise limit for Stories In The Park last year was a max of 71 decibels (db) but will now be 65db after complaints from the University of Reading, Reading University Students Union (RUSU), council officers and a local resident.

Rebecca Moon, environmental protection & nuisance officer at RBC, said Reading Festival, which currently has a max of 70db, was only recently allowed to increase its noise levels to above 65db.

She said she did not see why a much smaller festival needed the same levels or higher levels than the huge festival.

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Organisers Events Leisure Ltd, known locally as Entourage Project, run events across the town and debuted the festival last September, with Australian DJ Sonny Fodera headlining.

RUSU president Molli Cleaver raised concerns about the event and called for more conditions to be added to the licence but said they were not opposed to the organisers getting a licence for the event.

But the licensing committee chose to stick to a list of 21 conditions recommended by RBC and Thames Valley Police’s licensing teams, including the noise level limit of 65db.

Other conditions applied to the licence include:

  • Employing a customer welfare officer to circulate the area monitoring standards of behaviour and levels of alcohol consumption
  • Appointing a suitably qualified and experienced noise control consultant
  • Noise tests prior to events
  • Operating a nuisance hotline

The license allows Events Leisure Ltd to run the festival for a total of eight days in June and September every year.

Although this year’s September festival has not been cancelled, it is not yet clear how the event would be able to go ahead with Covid-19 social distancing measures likely to be in place for the foreseeable future.